“I love behind-the-scenes stuff and assume you do too”, writes Kathleen Stocker at the National Museum of Health and Medicine as she posts some pictures of the work on their new exhibition ‘Facial Reconstruction’ (with plaster models of faces undergoing reconstructive surgery). More pictures here.
I do indeed love behind-the-scenes images and descriptions. Unfortunately, museums rarely publish material about exhibitions in the making or, for that sake, pictures/movies from their conservation shops or collecting work.
We have done a few attempts in that direction (see, for example here and here), but we could do much more. It’s a great way to engage the public in the making of the museum, from acquisitions to exhibitions.
Sharon MacDonald’s in-depth ethnographic analyis of exhibition-making at Science Museum in London (Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum, 2002) is an excellent companion to such more episodic reports.